30-year-old Heather Johnson of Jacksonville, Florida
started at 202 pounds. See how she looks today!
Her Strong Start Secret: Stop thinking only about your weight!
The strong starters we surveyed viewed their #1 goal as "building a strong foundation of healthy habits." A majority of false starters made losing several pounds in their first two weeks their #1 goal, which backfired.
Heather's advice: "Don't try to overhaul every unhealthy habit at once. Take it easy with just a few healthy choices, like drinking adequate water, getting enough rest, and moving your body at least 10 minutes a day. Remember that it is a process and that quick fixes don't last. Build a strong foundation from the beginning, and then you can slowly and steadily add to it, brick by brick, and build a healthier life. Don't forget that you have support at SparkPeople and that you're not alone as you start out on your journey toward better health."
Here's 30-year-old Roni Yonka of Winston-Salem, North Carolina at her starting weight: 220 pounds.
Her Strong Start Secret: Spend LESS time exercising!
On average, strong starters exercised for 30 minutes during the first two weeks; false starters for 60 minutes, suggesting that false starters burned themselves out.
Roni's advice: "For the first few weeks, I focused on making exercise a habit. I joined a gym and went for only 20 minutes at a time, but made sure it was part of my daily routine."
Michele Swift, a 49-year-old from Willow Creek, California is pictured here at her starting weight: 224 pounds.
Her Strong Start Secret: Track Food and Calories!
Our survey found that both strong and false starters ranked "food tracking" as the one action that made the biggest difference in their programs. 82% of strong starters tracked food every day vs. 65% of false starters, and strong starters were twice as likely to track their calories.
Michele's advice: "The most important tools in my success were the food tracker, which I used religiously, and the community, which spurred me on each day."